Free Agency

Blackhawks Need to Target These 3 Sharks Right Now

By Tony Gianares
SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks skates against the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center on February 15, 2018 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks skates against the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center on February 15, 2018 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images) /
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SAN JOSE, CA – MARCH 03: San Jose Sharks Right Wing Joe Pavelski (8) circles back with the puck during the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. (Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA – MARCH 03: San Jose Sharks Right Wing Joe Pavelski (8) circles back with the puck during the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. (Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Joe Pavelski

Joe Pavelski is currently an unrestricted free agent. Chicago is apparently at or near the top of his list of teams if he were to hit free agency.

This would be a solid move for the Blackhawks, depending on the value of the contract.

Pavelski isn’t exactly in his prime anymore, but he can still provide good production down the middle and win faceoffs. He would also provide a boost in powerplay efficiency.

If the Blackhawks do intend to kick the tires on Pavelski, it could have a similar effect as the Brad Richards signing back in 2014-15. The Blackhawks would be getting a proven veteran at a position of need.

Plus, the roster depth would become significantly deeper and give Jeremy Colliton more versatility in line combinations.

Joe Pavelski is coming off of a solid season with the Sharks, as he produced 64 points (38G, 26A) with a -4 ± rating in 75 games. Most guys don’t score 64 points in their prime, so kudos to Pavelski.

His 64 points also would have been the 4th most on the Blackhawks last season. With that being said, I wouldn’t expect him to take a huge pay cut, but you never know.

Pavelski’s last contract was a 5-year, $30 mil ($6 mil AAV) deal, so that kind of gives you a ballpark idea of what his asking price could be. This will probably be his last big payday. Evolving Wild projects a 3-year, $22.62 mil ($7.54 mil AAV) contract for Joe Pavelski this offseason.

Another thing to consider with adding Pavelski to the mix is that this would likely mean the end for Artem Anisimov in Chicago, which is fine by me. Moving Anisimov would free up an additional $4.55 mil in cap space.

Now, here’s the fun part. Let’s throw around some potential line combinations for the 2019-20 including Joe Pavelski.

Potential 2019-20 lines:

Kubalik-Toews-Saad

DeBrincat-Pavelski-Kane

Perlini(RFA)-Strome-Sikura(RFA)

Anisimov-Kampf-Caggiula

Potential Power Play Units:

PP1: Strome-Toews-Kane

Gustafsson-DeBrincat

PP2: Kubalik-Pavelski-Saad

Perlini-Jokiharju

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